“It’s from Hailey,” Crystal tells him as she looks at me. “She probably cut her feet, and with the adrenaline, she didn’t notice.”
I look at my feet, and the burning suddenly breaks through, but I don’t notice it till Gabe talks. “Her shoulder is dislocated,” he says just as Jensen runs into the room, his face white as a ghost.
“Mila,” he whispers as he takes in the scene. “Mila, honey. Poppa is here.” He comes to my side as he gets down and kisses her nose. “What happened?”
Gabe talks because my tongue has suddenly swelled in my mouth and doesn’t move. “Flounder crashed into Mila, and Hailey is bleeding all over my floor.” Jensen looks down at my bloody feet.
“I was sitting on the beach, and then she was there with …” I shake my head, not even remembering the name of the woman.
“I was with Grammy Norma,” Mila says. “It hurts, Poppa.”
“Okay, folks, I have to put her shoulder back in place.” He looks at Jensen. “It’s going to hurt, and she will cry, but there is nothing we can do about it.”
“Okay,” Jensen says and looks down at Mila. I get up and start to walk away to give them their own time, but Mila shouts out for me.
“You stay with me, Hailey,” she says as she looks at me with big tears in her eyes, and I nod my head as tears escape the side of my eye. “You promised.”
“I’m not going anywhere,” I tell her as I stand next to the table. “It’s going to hurt,” I tell her, “but how about we get some ice cream after?” I talk to her while Gabe and Crystal set everything out. Gabe nods for me to keep talking to her as he goes on the other side and takes her arm in his hand. “What is your favorite flavor?” I ask her, trying not to look at what Gabe is doing, but she doesn’t answer because he snaps it back in place. She yells out in pain, and I sob, putting my hand to my mouth to stop it.
“All done,” Gabe says, then looks at Jensen and me. “She is going to need X-rays for the wrist, but by looking at it, I can say it’s broken, so she is going to need a cast.” Her sobs slowly start to stop.
“You were so brave, Princess,” I tell her as I squat down eye to eye with her.
“It hurt just a little bit.” Mila picks up her good hand as she pinches her finger and thumb together.
“You can go now. She just needs her family, not a stranger.” I hear from beside me. I look over, not meeting his eyes, since all he does is look at his daughter.
“Mila, I need to go and have Crystal look at my feet now, okay? I’ll come back and see you later.”
“Okay,” Mila says as she looks at me and then her father. I lean down and kiss her head before turning and walking out of the room.
Every Monday, I usually do my turn of visiting the job sites to make sure we’re on time and especially on budget. I only just got back to the office after lunch and was sitting at my desk when Jessica, the nanny/cleaning lady/cook who comes in every Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday, called and told me Norma was there to visit and they were going to go for a walk on the beach. I didn’t think anything of it till about thirty minutes later when I heard Jessica running in yelling for me.
“Walker,” she yelled out hysterically. I flew out of my chair and ran to the front where she was standing with tears pouring down her face. “Mila.”
I stood there in place, my heart sinking to my stomach as fear seeped into my bones. “She’s next door.” Not even listening to anything else she was saying, I ran past her, my lungs burning as I prayed to every single god that I thought would listen to keep my baby safe. I was beside myself with worry, I had just walked in and saw my baby crying on an exam table, with her arm hanging lip. I didn’t know what else to do so I blamed the one person who was in front of me, Hailey. I was mean and rude, dismissing her like she didn’t just put my daughter before herself.
“I guess your daughter gets all her manners from her mother,” Crystal hisses right before she walks out the room, and Gabe whistles.
“I would think that is a direct hit,” he says and shakes his head. “You do realize that Hailey carried your daughter in here while she bled, right? She didn’t even know she was bleeding. The only thing she cared about was Mila.”